A garage treasure

When CNS photographer Bob Roller and I paid a visit to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fayette, Iowa, as part of a trip to the Midwest for a CNS series on rural America, Father Jim Brokman, pastor, took us on a tour of the parish grounds. He didn’t really expect we’d want to see the inside of his garage.

He noted that when he took over as pastor of the parish, in the Dubuque Archdiocese, the garage was too cluttered for his liking. Inside there was indeed a bit of clutter, including some Christmas decoratons — and a bronze 1966 Dodge Charger in impossibly perfect condition.

The car isn’t Father Brokman’s, nor does it belong to the parish. Fayette hosts a classic-car fair each summer, and one of the regular participants rents space in the garage to store his Charger. Even in a dark garage, this bronze beauty shone.

Pope Benedict’s remarks at a vespers service in Nazareth

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks during the celebration of evening prayer service in the upper Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth attended by bishops, priests, men and women religious, seminarians, members of church movements and pastoral workers of Galilee: Continue reading

Pope Benedict’s remarks during a visit with religious leaders

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks during a visit with religious leaders of Galilee in the auditorium of the Basilica of the Annunciation: Continue reading

Patronizing advertisers

Most every publication carries a small announcement somewhere asking readers to “Please Patronize Our Advertisers,” from the daily newspaper to the weekly parish bulletin.

At St. Mary Church in Hanover, Iowa, the “Pray Together” missal aid prints photographs of the church on the front cover and advertisements for area merchants on the back.

One ad says simply, “Quillin’s In Waukon Featuring Huba-Huba.” What could this be? A rare cousin of the tuba with two horns?

Being an enterprising journalist, I drove to Waukon to find out. (I was in Iowa as part of a reporting trip through the Midwest for a CNS series on rural America.)

Quillin’s is Quillin’s Food Ranch, a supermarket chain. I tracked down a manager to ask what Huba-Huba was. “It’s out back,” he said, “behind the supermarket.”

And there it was: a gas station with the words “Huba-Huba” on the sides of the roof erected over the pumps to keep customers from getting soaked when they fill up in the rain.

I saw other Quillin’s in my travels through Iowa and Minnesota, but never another Huba-Huba.

By the way, a member of the Quillin family became a priest who served in southwestern Minnesota.

Pope Benedict’s homily at Mass in Nazareth

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s homily at an open-air Mass on Mount Precipice in Nazareth. The town of Nazareth is the home of the Holy Family. Continue reading